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High wind warnings are rare

While a winter storm pummels parts of the Midwest, dropping up to a foot of snow from Colorado to NW Iowa and into northern Wisconsin, the biggest impact eastern Iowa will see is the strong winds Wednesday.

As the system strengthens, the low pressure system gets deeper. The middle of the circle is the low. Each black line you see is 4 millibars of pressure and the more packed together the lines are, the windier it gets. MSLP = mean sea level pressure.

Like you would see in the eye of the hurricane, winds actually drop down a bit as the low moves overhead tonight, but on the backside of the system is where you will find the strongest winds. That’s where we will see a sustained wind between 20 and 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph.

A High Wind Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for most of Wednesday and is depicted as golden yellow. Everyone else is under a Wind Advisory for winds that will be a nuisance but not as damaging.

This is a rare warning – one that within the last 10 years, has only been issued up to 7 times for one county. Most have only seen one only 4-6 times in the last 10 years.

The winds we are about to experience warrant the warning. For perspective, in a thunderstorm, a severe thunderstorm warning will be issued for gusts of 58 mph or greater. That is when damage is expected to occur.

With the winds so strong for Wednesday we may see the following impacts:

Brandon Libby


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